The Cheatham County Beekeepers met at the Ashland City Library on February 11th. Hot coffee was waiting, thanks to Paul & Joyce Carter, accompanied by delicious homemade treats. Two newcomers, David and Tony, were warmly welcomed by us 21 beekeepers.
The original plan for this meeting was to have a "hands on" assembling of some woodenware. This not being feasible, Paul Carter immediately offered to work with anyone who needed some guidance in this area. Call him at 746-5398 to make arrangements.
From the booklet "Beekeeping in Tennessee", Roger reviewed the most important beekeeping tasks for January and February: FEED without disturbing the cluster; if medicating, follow instructions precisely and remove meds before adding supers; check hive strength and combine weak hives. On the topic of medications, Linda Nutt reported what State Bee Inspector Mike Studer had learned at a recent conference about experiments on hives known to be infected with nosema cerana. Once group of hives were treated with fumagillin and lasted 6 weeks. A second group of hives was treated with Honey-Bee-Healthy and lasted 12 weeks. Both slowed the deaths down, but neither was able to save the colonies. This led to an idea for a new experiment, giving both treatments to infected hives - results are awaited.
Experienced beekeeper Paul Carter highly recommended the use of formic acid -- inexpensive, effective and easy-to-administer. This acid treats both varroa and tracheal mites, found in virtually every hive. The acid is sold by Ed Johnson in Goodlettsville and it, too, must be most carefully and accurately prepared. The purchased acid is usually 94% strength and must be diluted (2 parts acid; 1 part water) and handled with great care and respect. Thanks to Johnie Bell for his donation of pads for administering the formic acid to our bees.
Linda also shared with us the new labeling regulation for all honey sold in Tennessee. To assure our customers that there are no additives in our honey, we need to have "100% PURE" on every jar. She suggested an additional label for this (see Sunday paper for bargain labels) until we use up our current supply of labels.
Kevin Eggers is about to make some changes to our website design. An informal survey of those present revealed that club members have different levels of interest in --and use of-- the Internet for Beekeeping. Kevin will adapt the website he made for us to be more helpful and "user friendly" for our various levels of interest and expertise. THANKS, Kevin!
Jeff McLaughlin brought in an important news article on a wordwide epidemic of the fly parasite. This pest lays its eggs in the stomach of the bees, causing "Zombie" behavior - walking in circles, pursuing bright lights and eventually dying. One bright spot in this newest challenge to bees and their keepers is that it may provide scientists with new clues about the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder.
The meeting ended with annual elections. Congratulations to Linda Nutt, President; Jeff Moore, Vice President; Keaton Penick, Treasurer (currently collecting our 2012 dues of $10 per family); Diana Senechal, Secretary.
Our next meeting will be at the Library on March 10, 9:30 AM. We look forward to the return of warmer weather and the possibility of hive openings at members' apiaries. Any volunteers?
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Thanks to our friends at Hivetool.com we present
Beekeeping Calendar of Management Practices: February
- Open colonies on a warm day and check for laying queen, brood and diseases.
- Feed one gallon of a two to one sugar syrup containing one teaspoon of Fumidil-B. Repeat in two to three weeks if needed by infected colony.
- Feed pollen substitute if needed.
- Unite weak or queen less colonies with another colony (bees should cover five or more frames).
- Select the best of the two queens before uniting the two colonies. Remove one of the two queens before uniting.
- Check the honey stores and feed any colonies that have less than 15 pounds (six frames of capped honey in shallow super or two to three frames in deep super).
Posted by Linda Nutt
Labels: Monthly Beekeeping Tasks